Race Day Nutrition

Race week has arrived! You have put in the hard work and ran the miles, so now it is time to taper. Many people get to this last week before a race and they are not sure what to eat the days and week before a race. There are many different theories and rituals different athletes have, but I like to keep it simple. The week leading up to a race you should be doing less volume in training so there is no need to add in more calories or “carb load”. I eat the same way as I always eat until the night before my race. Many studies show that the body does not store the extra glycogen from a huge plate of pasta 12-15 hours before a race and may even cause GI distress. I like to eat very plain chicken and either brown rice or plain baked potato. The chicken gives me some protein to help keep me full and the potato is a great source of carbohydrates without adding a lot of extra calories. I stay away from fats and fiber the night before because my stomach cannot digest it and can cause GI issues. I also drink a little extra water to stay hydrated and aid digestion.

The morning of a race, I wake 2-3 hours before and eat something very simple like a banana or half a bagel. This is definitely something you should try in your training as race day is never the time to try something new. Some people can’t eat anything before racing so I highly suggest trying different things to see what works best for you. Race day nutrition can be very individualized, so this is just a few of my own suggestions and ideas that work for me.

Joy Murphy

Certified Personal Trainer


Sunny Runner

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